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A Positive Change from Brexit? Well, one at least, sort of… Apr 22

While not exactly a hidden secret, it appears that with a change to the Duty-Free rules for travellers to Great Britain, there may have been one positive to have come out of Brexit on the 31st December 2020, albeit, with a bit of a caveat.

While it doesn’t appear to be being shouted from the roof tops at the moment and let’s face it, the lack of being able to travel internationally at the moment due to the Covid-19 pandemic might legitimately play its part in the limited press coverage on the subject, those of us with an interest in Rum and Cachaça can now bring in 4 litres of spirits (of 22% ABV and above) per adult to Great Britain from elsewhere in the world.

A little background history

From 1999 onwards Brits travelling between EU countries and the UK lost the ability to buy duty-free shopping on alcohol and tobacco products, but gained the ability to buy virtually unlimited amounts of goods from within the EU for personal use, without paying duty on return to the UK.

Duty-free shopping remained for those travelling from the rest of the world, but with the following allowances for personal use:

  • 16 litres of beer
  • 4 litres of still wine
  • 1 litre of spirits over 22% ABV OR 2 litres of fortified wines, sparkling wines and other alcohol spirits up to 22% ABV

This last allowance could be split, so for example you could bring back half a litre of 40% ABV Rum as well as a 1 litre bottle of, let’s say, Malibu* at 21% ABV

This is how it was until 11pm GMT on the 31st December 2020, when the UK exited the EU. Unfortunately for those in Northern Ireland, the above older rules still apply for those arriving from non-EU countries, although on a positive note, those travelling from EU countries to Northern Ireland will still continue to be able to arrive with unlimited amounts of alcohol and tobacco for personal use.

Original Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash

A Post-Brexit world of travel

So what about the rest of us arriving into Great Britain (made up of England, Scotland and Wales), from the 1st January 2021 from either the EU or the rest of the world? Well, things have been simplified. What was once two different sets of rules, has now been combined into one. So on the one hand those travelling from the EU to Great Britain will see a reduction in their alcohol and tobacco allowances, but on the other hand, those travelling from the rest of the world will see a marked increase in their alcohol allowance.

The new single set of duty-free rules for personal use on alcohol are as follows:

  • 42 litres of beer
  • 18 litres of still wine
  • 4 litres of spirit OR 9 litres of sparkling wine, fortified wine (e.g. sherry or port) or any alcoholic beverage of less than 22% ABV

Again, this last allowance can be split, so for example you can bring 2 litres of 40% ABV Rum as well as 4 and a half litres of Malibu* at 21% ABV (Please note that a 50-50 split isn’t the only option, other combinations are allowed, as long as the total of allowance used equates to no more than 100% of the allowance)

One thing to note with the new rules, is that if you exceed your personal limits, then you will need to pay tax/duty on all the goods in that category, not just the excess amount. So for example, bringing back 6 x 750 ml bottles of rum from the US totalling 4.5 litres, would result in in all 6 bottles of rum being liable for duty and not just the 1 bottle that would take you over the limit.

* Please also note that the use of Malibu is just for example as a spirit drink that is under 22% ABV – it is not in any way an endorsement of the product.

Koloa Rum from Kaua’i

We’re all going on a summer holiday?

While we’re still waiting for the UK government to announce when international travel will be on the cards for holidaymakers this summer and beyond, when that time does come around, it’s worth knowing about the new duty-free rules.

And for those of us Brits, who either travel further afield than the EU or maybe are lucky enough to have family and/or friends visiting from outside the EU, we can enjoy more locally sold Cachaça and Rums from around the world, that maybe we can’t get so easily here in Great Britain.

Granted, in no way does this make up for everything else that’s come about as a result of Brexit, but in these miserable times, I’ll take any silver lining I can find. Further details can be found at the House of Commons Library and in the UK Government’s Travellers Communication Pack.

LCW19 – Bacardi Rum Room Oct 10

 

London Cocktail Week Logo

With its heritage of 157 years of rum making, you can expect Bacardi to bring you a series of tasty events showcasing the brand’s premium rums, all aged under the Caribbean sun, including a very first taste of BACARDÍ Gran Reserva Diez; a brand new, premium, gold sipping rum that’s barrel-aged for a minimum of ten years, officially launched this October. BACARDÍ Gran Reserva Diez is the latest addition to the BACARDÍ range of barrel-aged rums, joining BACARDÍ Añejo Cuatro and BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho.

Furthermore, BACARDÍ’s UK Brand Ambassador Metinee (May) Kongsrivilai will be on hand giving rum lovers the chance to dive into the world of barrel-aged rums, learn about the unique Caribbean ageing process while tasting sipping rums and classic cocktails such as the Mojito.

Entry into the Rum Room is free and you can sign up to their free masterclasses HERE.

London Cocktail Week 2019 Oct 04

London Cocktail Week Logo

Returning for its tenth anniversary, London Cocktail Week is back and the celebration has been extended to ten days, starting the 4th October 2019.

From £6 signature cocktails served in 300 bars across London, to the Cocktail Village complete with 40+ pop-up bars, street food and DJs, via pop-ups, parties and masterclasses all over London, this is the premier celebration of the London’s cocktail scene.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED
The Festival is divided into three parts – The Cocktail Tours, The Events Schedule and The Cocktail Village and all require you to pick up a Festival Pass for £10, which covers you for the whole 10 days until the 13th October.

The Cocktail Tours – £6 signature cocktails in 300 of London’s best bars (4-13 Oct)
Each participating venue will serve a bespoke London Cocktail Week cocktail for the duration of the festival at a price of just £6, all you need to do is flash your £10 Festival Pass on the DrinkUp.London app to get access. The tours are self-guided, and as long as the bars are open, the drinks are available – so you can taste and explore at your own leisure – whether that’s hitting up a whole host of bars in one night, or savouring one per day. You can check out all the bars taking part HERE.

The Cocktail Village – 40+ pop-up bars, Street Feast food vendors and DJs in the heart of Brick Lane (9-13 Oct)
Hosted in the heart of the East End – The Cocktail Village is the culmination of the whole festival and entry is free and included with your £10 Festvial Pass. With new brands and bars popping up each and every year – this is a true cocktail lovers’ paradise with a real outdoor, end of summer festival vibe as the music cranks up and the cocktails keep flowing. See who’s popping-up in this year’s hub HERE.

Events Schedule – pop-ups, parties and masterclasses all over town
There is a full schedule of events to check out as part of London Cocktail Week. Some of these events are free to attend with your Festival Pass – others have a ticket price attached, but be assured, these events are cherry picked by the DrinkUp team for being of the best content and value. See the full schedule HERE.

Plus for 2019 the trusty wristbands have returned to celebrate the tenth anniversary. All you need to do is flash your phone Festival Pass at either our Covent Garden Pop-up between 4-10 October (5-7 Grape Street, London, WC2H 8DW) or the hub, the Cocktail Village between 9-13 October (146 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RU) to get one – but please note once they’re gone, they’re gone!